October 5, Coushatta LA — L.E.A.P.S. completed their first Pathways to Success training in Coushatta, Louisiana. With twenty representatives from education, nonprofits, and businesses of Northwest Louisiana including Goodwill, Volunteers of America, SUSLA, BPCC, BPSTIL, Bossier Parish Schools, DeSoto Parish Schools, and Red River Parish Schools, participants left feeling empowered to provide training to their students and teams. The training will help these organizations implement new curriculum to prepare young people with fundamental skills such as soft-skills, civic leadership, and career exposure and planning so they can thrive in the 21st century


“It’s priceless,” said Alison Hughes, superintendent of Red River Parish Schools. “We appreciate the opportunity to be able to host this event for our students and our teachers to be exposed to a program that’s going to benefit us so much. Rural areas—we don’t have opportunities that big cities have. Our children are not exposed to opportunities to have jobs in the summer or training such as this where they have training to speak to someone or interview for a position—they’re not exposed to that. This is opening up doors for our children that we’ve never been able to do before.”


LEAPS is an initiative of BHP and the International Youth Foundation to create partnerships with local organizations in NWLA to equip the areas’ young people—ages 11 to 24—with the skills needed to thrive in school, work, and life including soft-skills, civic leadership, and career exposure and planning needed to thrive in the 21st century. LEAPS is housed in Step Forward, a cradle to career collective impact organization that serves Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, Red River, and Webster parishes.